How do you pronounce ACCENT?

Today one of my accent reduction coaching clients asked me an EXCELLENT question about the sounds of the two C’s in the word ACCENT.

He asked, “Susan, do the two C’s have the same sound?”

No! They don’t.

In spoken American English the letter C has two different sounds; /s/ & /k/.

The letter C usually sounds like /k/. Examples include: cat, car, crush, coat.


When the letter C occurs before the vowel sounds /ɛ/ & /ı/ it sounds like /s/. Examples include: city, cent, century, certain.

So how about the C’s in the word ACCENT?

The first C has a /k/ sound and the second C has a /s/ sound.  Americans say it like this: ak➝sǝnt.

The stress is on the first syllable.

Other words that fit into this /k/ + /s/  pattern include:

  • access
  • accelerate

Tricky, right?

These are the types of pronunciation problems I help you solve when you sign up for accent reduction coaching!